The methodology chapter focuses on outlining how the actual research will be conducted. The term ‘research methodology’ has been defined as the theoretical and systematic analysis of the methods deployed in a study (Igwenagu, 2016). In other words, research methodology comprises a description of the set of principles and methods associated with a field of knowledge. Some scholars have attempted to distinguish between the terms’ research methodology’ and ‘research methods. On the one hand, Mishra and Alok (2017) state that methods imply all the techniques taken in undertaking the research. On the other hand, research methodology involves the approach used in solving the research problem. Therefore, this chapter is labeled as research to indicate that its main focus is to address how the research questions will be answered. Most importantly, the chapter describes the nature of research, in this case, quantitative. Additionally, the research, data and data collection, data analysis, and ethical considerations will be outlined.
Quantitative research is used for this study, where the data is collected and analyzed using statistical tools. The rationale is that this research has the features of quantitative research as described by several authors. A definition of this approach offered by Apuke (2017, p. 41) states that the purpose of quantitative research is to quantify and analyze variables to obtain results. Such a description fits several aspects of the proposed research. First, the exploration entails utilizing and analyzing numerical data with the help of statistical techniques. Second, the researcher hopes to answer questions such as who, what, where, how much, how, how many, and when regarding the variables being explored.
Several other features give this quantitative research attributes that need to be emphasized, including the association with numbers and mathematics. For example, Goertzen (2017, p. 12) states that the data collected and analyzed is structured and represented in numerical form. The information, variables, and questions of this research are all measurable and quantifiable. Such features are visible during the data analysis stage, where the research outcomes are expressed mathematically in terms of percentages, proportions, and other descriptive statistics.
The selection of the quantitative research methodology for this study is based on the usefulness of the approach. According to Daniel (2016, p. 94), there are two main advantages of quantitative research. First, it uses statistical data, which helps save both time and resources. The emphasis on figures and numbers eliminates the need for extended engagement of the research participants. Because of their nature, quantitative studies are often considered to be scientific, which means that they can be perceived to have more credibility. Second, quantitative research uses scientific methods to collect and analyze data, which makes generalizations possible. The researcher, in this case, acknowledges that the conclusions made for the sample population can easily be made for another, assuming that the two populations are similar. To illustrate this argument, the findings from the two sports in this study can be used to make inferences and conclusions regarding other sports or the same sports in a different country.
The application of the quantitative methodology in this study will be made possible by the nature of the data collected. As will be discussed in the data collection section, the participants will be analyzed using descriptive statistics to describe their characteristics. Additionally, their responses will be analyzed using statistical tools, including correlation and regression analysis. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be accomplished using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS).
Research design has been defined differently by various authors and publications. However, the basic idea behind this term is that it presents a blueprint for data collection, measurement, and analysis (Akhtar, 2016, p. 69). A description of the concept of research design by Tobi and Kampen (2018, p. 1211) in the context of interdisciplinary studies posits that there are two levels of research design, which will be manifested in this study. First, a conceptual design addresses the question of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a study. Additionally, conceptual design often focuses on the thinking, exchange of knowledge, and reading, which yields the conceptual framework of the exploration. Such concerns have been outlined in the objectives and research questions, as well as the background of this study. Second, the technical design addresses the questions of ‘how,’ ‘when,’ and ‘where’ the research will be conducted. To answer these questions for this study, it is important to mention that the research was conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) between December 2020 and February 2021.
Some scholars have insisted that the selection of the research design is critical because it determines the relevance of the data collected. For example, Sileyew (2019, p. 2) states that the research design offers an appropriate framework for research. With these descriptions of the research design, it is apparent that the general framework within which the data is collected and analyzed comprises the research design.
Two elements are used to describe the research design adopted for this study: survey and descriptive research. The term ‘survey design’ has been described by Bode et al. (2020, p. 9) as a systematic method used in the collection of data from a sample to generate quantitative descriptions of the overall population. Surveys are a quantitative approach used in social and health sciences and comprise a set of procedures used by investigators to gather data from population samples (Creswell and Hirose, 2019, p. 2). The type of information that can be gathered using these methodologies includes opinions, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and the characteristics of the population. In social sciences, surveys are also used to gather evidence of practice and knowledge, as stipulated by Story and Tait (2019, p. 192). The survey approach is used for this study because of its convenience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the crisis makes it difficult for researchers to travel and engage personally with research respondents due to various restrictions, including travel bans and social distancing requirements. Online surveys have also become common and, therefore, are utilized to make the study possible.
Another aspect of the research design for this research is its descriptive nature. Descriptive designs have been labeled as the simplest designs, which can be used to examine and describe the distribution of variables without the need for causal and other hypotheses (Aggarwal and Ranganathan, 2019, p. 34). The descriptive nature of the study will be made apparent when describing the profiles of the participants. However, it is important to emphasize that the current research goes beyond simple descriptive, and the causal relationships will also be examined through correlation and regression analysis.
Many studies often seek to explore large populations, which makes it impossible to include all subjects in the study. Therefore, the concept of sampling becomes vital in undertaking both qualitative and quantitative studies. Sampling in this study refers to the technique employed by investigators to systematically choose a small number of individuals are representatives or a subset from a pre-defined population. The selected group will then be studied and used as the source of data for the observational or experimentation inquiries (Sharma, 2017, p. 749). Sampling can generally be classified into two broad categories: probability and non-probability. The former comprises all sampling schemes where all the subjects have the same probability of being selected. On the other hand, non-probability sampling is based on the researcher’s judgment. The population for this research is highly specific, which makes it difficult to use probability sampling. The researcher needs to ensure that the sample selected has the information being sought, meaning that judgment becomes the key tool to accomplish sampling. However, a mixed approach can also be used to achieve greater results.
Purposive sampling falls under non-probability sampling techniques and will be the selected sampling technique for this study. According to Etikan, Musa, and Alkassim (2016, p. 2), purposive sampling can be defined as a deliberate choice of research subjects based on the characteristics they possess. As a non-random technique, purposive sampling involves the scholar establishing what needs to be explored and then engaging people with the ability to offer information. This study examines leadership in sports, meaning that those people involved in these positions are needed.
Therefore, purposive sampling means that the researcher sets out to find individuals with coaching duties in tennis and football sports. Other variables may be disregarded, which may allow for a more random approach to picking the individuals. For example, age, gender, and sport are determined after and not before the selection. Therefore, the number of male and female tennis or football coaches will be random. This is because the only aim of purposive sampling is to make sure the right individuals are selected to represent the entire population. The sample size is another key aspect to be considered. For quantitative analysis, large sample sizes may become too tedious. Considering the nature of the participants, purposive sampling allowed for a total of 385 respondents to be engaged in this study.
Data and Data Collection
The aims and objectives of the study reveal that the focus will be on the leadership strategies used by sports coaches and the motivation behind the selection of such strategies. Coaching leadership styles and their effects are also examined, and this explains what data will be needed for this study. Therefore, the researcher needs to collect data that indicates the common strategies used in tennis and football sports by coaches, the reason for selecting and using such strategies and styles, and the effect of the leadership styles. The nature of this data appears to be largely qualitative in nature, and, therefore, the researcher will find the appropriate mechanisms for quantifying the data or data derivatives. The relationship between the variables, in this case, the leadership strategies, styles, and behavior, is examined mathematically. The leadership strategies and styles are reflected in the behavior of the coaches. Such behaviors tend to yield different outcomes for both the players and coaches, including player satisfaction with the coach. Therefore, the effect of leadership on player satisfaction is a quantifiable aspect of the data.
The use of survey design means that the survey will be the means to collect the data. For an online survey to take place, questionnaires are developed and administered to the selected sample. The questionnaire is designed to make it easy for the respondents to understand the nature and purpose of the study. Additionally, the data needed is described in detail, which allows the participants to respond effectively.
The first aspect of the data analysis is to examine the profiles of the respondents using descriptive statistics. The focus will be to highlight the demographic characteristics, including age, gender, education, and coaching career. Second, reliability and internal consistency analysis are performed using Cronbach’s alpha with a value of 0.5. A Likert scale is used to numerically represent the data, which will then help in the analysis of the relationship between the variables. Third, a correlation analysis is used to determine the relationship between training and instruction, democratic behavior, automatic behaviour, social support, positive feedback, pressure from above, self-confidence, self-reassurance, team cohesion, and satisfaction. The significance level of 95 and a confidence interval of 5 are used in the correlation analysis. The Pearson correlation ranges from -1 to 1 representing negative and positive correlation, respectively. The value of zero (0) indicates no correlation, while higher values on either side show either a strong negative or strong positive correlation. Lastly, a regression analysis is used to estimate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
Validity and Reliability Analysis
Reliability and validity are desired in research because they help make the findings useful in making generalizations. Reliability is concerned with the stability of findings, while validity focuses on their truthfulness. According to Mohajan (2017, p. 58), validity and reliability are used to increase the transparency of the research and to eliminate any researcher biases. A measure of reliability has been described in the above section. Validity can be assessed in terms of the reproducibility of the research using similar approaches in different stings. Therefore, the use of proven research methods and data measurements in both the collection and analysis of data assures the validity of this research.
Conducting studies tends to have several ethical implications on the part of the researcher. During the CVID-19 pandemic, one of the most important ethical aspects is ensuring not to endanger the health and wellbeing of the research participants. Physical contact is restricted across the planet as a measure to prevent further spread. Therefore, the researcher should observe this and other health guidelines provided by government agencies. However, this issue may not be a major concern because online surveys are used to engage the respondents. Therefore, the main ethical consideration is the use of digital tools to recruit the samples. According to Gelinas et al. (2017, p. 7), one of the major concerns is the protection of privacy and other individual interests as per the principles of beneficence and respect for persons. Personal information should not be asked of the research participants. Secondly, the researcher should embrace transparency as manifested through truthfulness and honesty. Most importantly, informed consent should be sought before the subjects can be included in the samples. Participation should be voluntary, which means that no person shall be forced to participate in the research process against their will.
The focus of this chapter was to present a description of the approach and methods used to accomplish the study. The study will be quantitative, as explained by the use of numerical data. The research design combines survey and descriptive approaches. The survey is used for primary data collection through online media. The descriptive design is used to express the presentation of the research results, which means a description of the subject being investigated. Descriptive statistics and tools are used for data analysis and to examine the reliability of the data. Lastly, the chapter has outlined the ethical issues that will be observed during the exploration.
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